With less than one year in the new College Football Playoff system, coaches and at least one commissioner are already breaking ranks and not fully supporting the new setup.
According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, 44 percent of 103 coaches who participated in a poll preferred an eight-team playoff structure. Only 29 percent preferred the current setup. While 17 percent want to expand the playoff to 16 teams.
“Most of the coaches who want an eight-team playoff believe it should consist of the conference champions from the Power 5 leagues plus the next three highest-ranked at-large teams, or the top-ranked Group of 5 champion and the two highest-ranked at-large teams,” McMurphy reported.
The poll comes on the heels of ACC commissioner John Swofford saying teams — and, by extension, conferences — will be unhappy once the final playoff rankings are released.
“I don’t think all the controversy’s going to go away,” Swofford told The Herald-Sun. “You have four teams that get a chance to play for the national championship, which is twice as many as before, but whoever’s fifth or sixth is not going to be happy. There will be some conferences that won’t have a team in the playoff.”
Commissioners are already preparing for the possibility of not having a team among college football’s final four. Currently, the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences would be left out of the mix based on the current rankings.
However, change isn’t expected any time soon. The current agreement for a four-team playoff is in place for the next 12 years, and College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said that “there has been no discussion of expanding.”
Even though Swofford views an eight-team playoff as “ideal” and the majority of coaches currently support that notion, it’s not going to happen any time soon.